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Community car planned

Not many things of interest to students are within walking distance of campus. During finals especially, much less time can be devoted to walking anywhere. What if all you want is to go to Wawa and get an extra-caffeine-charged double espresso mocha cappuccino at 4:00 a.m. when all of your friends are asleep and a car isn’t in your vocabulary, let alone your budget?

Thanks to Professor Vincent O’Grady and the initiatives of his Ecological and Environmental Economics class, your transportation problems will be solved as of late August.

According to their website, Philly Car Share is a non-profit organization working “to maximize economic, environmental and social benefits of reduced automobile dependence in the Philadelphia region through community-based car sharing.”

They will be in partnership with Eastern to provide a hybrid Toyota Prius for student and campus organization use for only $5.90 an hour. All you will need is a valid driver’s license, 18 years of experience on earth and a debit or credit card.

Bettie Ann Brigham, vice president of student development, scheduled a meeting with representatives of the program and was sent a contract after three weeks.

According to Brigham, she hopes that students will voluntarily reduce the numbers of cars on campus. However, “As long as there are cars, there is parking needed,” she said.

Brigham said that there just is not enough room for any more cars on campus. Because parking is limited, not everyone who wants to can park legally.

“At a certain point we just don’t give out any more permits,” she said.

Parking is not the only problem on campus Philly Car Share will solve. One of O’Grady’s students, senior Nicole Kovalesky, said, “A lot of students with cars on campus, myself included, do not drive these cars everyday.” She said that for those students who only need access once or twice a week, the program has many more advantages than car ownership.

Brigham noted the financial burden that the program will alleviate for many students. She mentioned that many students are struggling to pay tuition and have to work extra to pay for a car and maintenance. By not working, students will have more time to devote to their studies and will have to worry less about a balance with Student Accounts.

After Philly Car Share visited campus on April 23, students responded to the program positively. As long as the use of the car is as positive as the feedback from the presentation, Philly Car Share may even be available during the summer of 2008, according to Brigham.

After approval of the contract from Philly Car Share by Eastern’s lawyers, Brigham will sign it, and the service will be available at the very beginning of next semester for students, faculties and organizations on campus.

Once the program starts, brochures will circulate throughout campus mailboxes and packets for prospective students.

More information can be found at phillycarshare.org.

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